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Hung-over and grief-stricken, a man contemplated suicide at the edge of a cliff, until he is unexpectedly distracted by the sight of a woman emerging from the water below... A group of art students protesting the demolition of a housing block decide to turn its destruction into a creative act... Waiting in her car for the rain to pass after her mother's funeral, a woman nurses her child and reflects on a world outside that remains headless of her sorrow... The stories shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University 2018 pivot around the theme of loss, and the different ways that individuals, and communities, respond to it. From the son caring for his estranged father, to the widow going out for her first meal alone, the characters in these stories are trying to find ways to repair themselves, looking ahead to a time when grief will eventually soften and sooth. Above all, these stories explore the importance of human connection, and salutary effect of companionship and friendship when all else seems lost.